Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Maori women and smoking

If one in three Maori women is on a benefit, one in two Maori women smoke, and smoking rates are highest among low income groups, the chances are the taxpayer is paying for their cigarettes or rollies. The taxpayer is also paying for their cessation attempts, on average numbering 14 before successful.

So we pay for Maori women to smoke, and we pay for them not to. There seems a more obvious solution, although there is little political will to explore it.

Quitting smoking is tough. It is doubly tough if you are depressed, bored, idle, with nothing to look forward to and nothing else in your life that gives you pleasure - albeit fleeting pleasure. And when in such a rut the prospect of foreshortening life doesn't hold much sway either.

Kiwiblog recently ran a story about a no-smoking prison that was deterring people from committing crime. They would rather give up crime than quit smoking. Given a choice I am sure some people would rather get a job than quit smoking. Such is their desire to smoke.

While people have multiple problems in their lives, quitting smoking will never be a priority. There are more fundamental issues that need sorting first.


Shane Pleasance said...

So, in effect, their smoking is my problem.

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago I smoked ciggies and the devil weed. One was the excuse for the other.

Meeting a beautiful Maori lady who didnt smoke and swept me off my foot, I told her I loved her. She replied "Prove it."

I no longer smoke other than when i get hot under the collar.....


Anonymous said...

I did several years in social work and 'early intervention' and my pet hate is health promotion forced on this area. Lets not get real with people and say ' he/she is a looser and you can do better', 'this is how to hang out washing', 'you need to get up at seven to get your kids to school, 'lets sit down and take a look at the list of groceries you need this week', how about we take a family trip to the park/beach/pool and make some sandwiches for lunch', 'how about we look into jobs, or courses'.... instead lets take them to expo's and more agencies to address smoking??? Lets do more assessments, lets keep ticking the boxes and insisting that the babies get all their vaccinations and tick all those boxes and if they dont do it' report them to CYFS, lets give grass roots workers impossible caseloads so they end up unintentionally colluding, so the experts with more impossible caseloads can in turn, miss the warning signs of yet another otrocity and blame it on the grass roots workers blah blah. You said it well Lindsay in your blog , and until people can tackle the everyday monotonous living that they probably never experienced consistently, why would they give up what seems their only pleasure at all. Especially with all the do gooders around to bore them and stress them out more!

I'm Maori, single ma, smoke and drink, have great friends and whanau, have a great job and look after us and I enjoy life. I dont see the health promoters knocking on my door :-) GET REAL PEOPLE!!!